Sourav Ganguly announced his decision to retire from Test cricket after the series against Australia. Unarguably Sourav Ganguly was one of India’s better captains and his fighting spirit transformed Indian cricket forever. His infamous clash with Greg Chappell, his ouster and subsequent return provided plenty of drama for the entire cricketing world. He probably won’t be missed any longer given his poor form, but there is no question that he has been a phenomenon in Indian cricket for well over a decade. Given the commericialization of cricket of late, one can be asured the Ganguly will re-appear in other avatars beyond the IPL.
It’s nice to see him bid adieu to the game while still in the Test team. It is the first time since Sunil Gavaskar that a top Indian cricketer has left the cricketing scene while still being a member of the team. Even the great Kapil Dev was dragged along in the team until he reached his record wicket tally. While there has been widespread speculation in the media about the future of the “Fab Four”, the reality is that Ganguly could have dragged along longer if he chose to. A couple of good knocks in the first two Tests would have secured his position for the next tour or two. While its is unclear what triggered his decision, overall there appears to be a fair indication of professionalism on both the part of the selectors and Ganguly himself for how this has all transpired. Hopefully the public will be saved from another media circus in the days and weeks ahead without new revelations of any sort from Ganguly. The new selectors lead by Kris Srikanth deserve credit for giving Ganguly an opportunity to quit while still in the team.
Meanwhile, lets hope that the remaining stalwarts — Sachin, Dravid, and Kumble — plan their graceful exits. This series should be a decider for them. If they fail to perform, they should simply call its quits or plan their exits in discussion with the selectors. The selectors would also do well to have a chat with these folks to figure out what they have in mind with regard to their continued presence in the team. It is in the best interest of the team that these players phase out over time rather than all at once. Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Badrinath, Kaif, Raina, Pujara, Kohli and many others are waiting their turns and deserve a shot at the highest while they are still at their best.